I know someone that works for SS disability office - she is one who makes decisions on who gets it and who does not.
I am getting my stuff together now to file.
She told me to get all my records myself, send them in with the application, as well as statements from my old co-workers saying that they helped me with many tasks, statements from friends, etc. Also a diary of a month of how RSD affects my everyday life - such as that I only shower when I absolutely must because of pain... and cannot stand to take baths, so....that is not good for going to a job every day.
People here have told me to go ahead and file, that SS will get the records. Well, the Dr. can put off sending them, etc... just like you found out. So, I am going to follow the advice of the woman who makes the decisions and see how I do. I talked to a lawyer, got more advice, but of course he won't officially "see" me unless I get denied. But, he did answer all my questions over the phone.
I hope you get yours with your appeal.